China Cracks Down on Social Media Accounts Criticizing Covid Policies Ahead of Spring Festival Travel Rush

1: china has taken down more than 1,000 social media accounts that criticised the government’s covid policies. weibo, a popular chinese social media platform, suspended or banned accounts for what it described as personal attacks against chinese covid specialists. the accounts were taken down in response to online criticism of the strict enforcement of covid regulations, including lockdowns.
paragraph 2: weibo said it had spotted almost 13,000 violations and handed out temporary or permanent bans to 1,120 accounts. this comes as the ministry of transport expects more than two billion passengers to travel over the next 40 days, leading to concerns of another wave of infections. china will also drop a requirement for travellers coming from abroad to quarantine from sunday.
paragraph 3: weibo did not specify which posts had prompted the action, but recent posts have taken aim at experts who have defended the sudden decision to drop restrictions. it is believed that the bans were put in place in order to prevent people from hurling insults at those with different points of view and to stop the spread of views that incite conflicts. this move will also allow many chinese to travel abroad for the first time in almost three years.

By Evey Lovelace

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